katallison: (Default)
Scary fucking shit. And, for once, not overtly political.

Full text of story on cutaway because startribune.com requires registration... )

For the record, Osterholm is a highly-renowned epidemiologist, with a long track record of public service, who's always struck me as a level-headed and sane kind of guy. When he says the potential bird flu epidemic could be "the most catastrophic thing in my lifetime," keep in mind he's someone who has been for many years deeply involved in in dealing with AIDS and the consequences thereof.

OK, I'm sufficiently freaked now, and should go to bed.
katallison: (Default)
Even though I am not, as a rule, all about the wedded bliss, this story of a wedding between two men who've been together for ten years lifted my heart, and made me all misty with happiness. I hold it in my heart, with [livejournal.com profile] planetalyx's account of her marriage, as a bulwark against this foolish and small-souled period in my country's history.
katallison: (Default)
Yesterday afternoon, while waiting for the bus, it struck me that my vacation is over. Dammit.

Personal history, maundering, etc., blah blah )
katallison: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] sockkpuppett earlier posted the US voting breakdown, state by state, as shades of purple, instead of blue vs. red; here's the same thing, except county by county.

I find this fascinating, especially as a countermeasure to the generalizations about the South and Midwest that have been flying around the past couple of days. Consider, for example, that very blueish-toned band of counties meandering from Louisiana through Alabama and Mississippi and into South Carolina. Or those blue spots in the upper Great Plains--I can't even identify what, if any, cities those would map onto. (Since state boundaries aren't shown, one thing this map also reveals to me is my less-than-perfect grasp of geography. *g*)

I should locate a good color printer and run myself a copy of this, to tack up over my desk. Nothing about this country is as simple as I am sometimes, in my bitter moments, tempted to believe.
katallison: (Default)
Think of this as "continuing the post-poetry-in-your-LJ meme" rather than "Kat spamming LJ madly 'cause christ knows she's not getting any work done today" --

To a Friend whose Work has come to Nothing

Now all the truth is out,
Be secret and take defeat
From any brazen throat,
For how can you compete,
Being honour bred, with one
Who, were it proved he lies,
Were neither shamed in his own
Nor in his neighbours' eyes?
Bred to a harder thing
Than Triumph, turn away
And like a laughing string
Whereon mad fingers play
Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult.

W.B. Yeats
katallison: (Default)
One piece of local good news--Kerry not only took Minnesota, but had big coattails, with the Dems picking up 13 seats in the state House. There'll be a recount, but at this point the very thin continuing Republican majority in the legislature rests on 90 votes in one race.

This post is dedicated to everyone who's ever said, "Oh, heck, my vote doesn't count anyway." Ninety votes, people.
katallison: (Default)
I just hurt all over. Trying to remember if it hurt this bad in '72 and '84. Maybe, but I don't think so.

[livejournal.com profile] jennyo has a good post here on the need to keep fighting. Go read, if you're feeling despondent.

I posted last night that the people I felt sorriest for in this election were the traditional conservatives, and though my definition of who I feel sorriest for has expanded exponentially, still I think that long-term the Republicans have gotten themselves in a bad bind. This election really consummated their unholy marriage with the single-issue religious fundamentalists, which ought to scare the crap out of those Rep.s' who actually still believe in limiting governmental intrusion in the private sphere. And when the increasingly-unpayable bills for our foreign adventures come due, it'll be Bush&Co and the Rep.-dominated Congress that'll have to deal; with time, I think people might begin to suspect that a massive and growing deficit might just be a leetle more of a threat to the nation than, say, gay people wanting to get hitched.

Meanwhile: Patience. Stubbornness. Alliances. Communication. Tactical thinking. Refusal to give up. Fighting on in the dark times. All those things we fans admire in our heroes--we need to remember those now, and not just write stories about them. We gotta *be* our heroes. At the risk of being cheesy--are you ready to be strong?
katallison: (Default)
Random thought of the day: I suddenly realized at one point that the building in which I cast my ballot today is named after a guy I was in a fantasy football league with 17-18 years ago. My my my.

And now for something completely different, a few words on why I think the people getting most truly screwed in this election (apart from the folks whose right to vote is getting trashed) are the true conservatives. More, of a haphazardly philosophical nature, within. )
katallison: (Default)
Am digging everyone's voting stories. Mine: got to the polls right at 7 when they opened, which was D-U-M dumb because there were already (rough count) 200 in line. I'd considered going later on, maybe skipping out of work midday, but decided that just going in and *doing* it might relieve some of my massive jittery stress.

Got through in an hour; passed the time chatting with the older couple next to me, who'd spent their entire lives in the neighborhood and had cool tales of the older, pre-gentrification days. Massive crowds kept on coming, but everyone was extremely cheerful and friendly. No hassles--someone'd have to be stupid to try starting trouble in my precinct, which is not only one of the most solidly liberal in the state, but also bung-full of highly educated, politically astute, activist types, and anyone challenging voters would probably be gang-tackled and beaten with a granola bar.

Done at last, I walked back to my car through the rain, fired up the ignition, and as the radio came on a commercial was just ending. Next song up? "It's the End of the World as We Know It." I don't know what kind of a portent that is, but I found that I did, in fact, feel fine, and drove to work singing along with the chorus and grinning.


katallison: (Default)

November 2009



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